Sprint Kicks Off CES Week With 3rd 4G Phone, the HTC EVO Shift 4G

htc evo shift 4g

It’s been awhile since Sprint last released a 4G phone– almost 5 months since their last one, the Samsung Epic 4G. Obviously with 4G getting even more popular (and competitive) thanks to Verizon and T-Mobile’s new 4G networks, we expect 2011 to be a huge year for 4G phones– and Sprint of course looks to continue its lead in 4G phones, announcing their 3rd 4G phone, the HTC EVO Shift 4G.

This phone is pretty much a mix of the wildly popular EVO 4G and Epic 4G, taking pieces from both and putting it in a nice, simple design. Specs include:

  • A full slide out QWERTY keyboard (like the Epic)
  • Android 2.2 with HTC Sense— Like the EVO, with all the usual assortment of standard Android apps like the Android Market, Gmail, Google Maps and YouTube as well as Sprint apps like Sprint Mobile TV all pre-loaded.
  • 3.6 inch touchscreen— A step down in size from the EVO’s massive 4.3 inch and Epic’s 4 inch screen, but this does keep the same resolution of 800 x 480 so everything will still look just as sharp, clear and amazing as on those beasts.
  • 800 MHZ processor– To keep things running smoothly. Again, not as fast as the EVO and Epic’s respective 1 GHZ processors, but should be more than enough for browsing the web, watching some YouTube, texting and playing Angry Birds.

htc evo shift 4g back

  • 5 megapixel camera with flash and HD video recording– Like on the Epic, though for some reason there’s no front camera for video chat. You’d think (and expect) that since it’s a 4G phone and takes so much from the EVO and Epic that it would have this too…
  • microSD card slot— With a 2 GB card included in the box (upgradeable to 32 GB).
  • And of course, 3G, 4G, WiFi and GPS

At $149.99 it’s the cheapest 4G phone at launch yet, though that $50 here does seem to be a big difference in what you’re getting when compared to the $200 EVO or even the $249 Epic– with both offering much more bang for the buck in their bigger screens, front cameras and faster processors. And with places like Amazon offering both of those phones for only $99.99 on 2 new year contract (see here for Epic and here for EVO. UPDATE: as commenter kweenb points out, when upgrading from a current Sprint contract, Amazon charges $179.99 for the EVO and $199.99 for the Epic— why we don’t know. The $99.99 price we saw is when buying either of the phones as a new Sprint customer. And if you are looking for an EVO, you may also want to check out Radio Shack, whose offering on upgrade an EVO for the same $149.99 as the EVO Shift 4G), we’d recommend you look there before going for this (that, or wait a couple of weeks to see if Sprint drops the price on this closer to that level).

The HTC EVO Shift 4G launches this Sunday, January 9th, for $149.99 on a new 2 year contract with Sprint data plan and additional $1o a month 4G  “premium data” add-on (still required for all 4G Sprint phones). Full specs and more info can be found at Sprint’s site here.

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Posted on January 4, 2011, in Cell Phones, CES and Macworld and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. actually the EVO is $179.99 and the Epic is $199.99 on Amazon, not $99! but thanks for the tip

  2. Hey kweenb,

    It seems that when upgrading a line Amazon will give the prices shown above, but when adding a new account you can score either for $99.99. Why Amazon does this we’re not sure but thanks for pointing this out and we’re sorry for the confusion.

    We have btw found an EVO online for the same $149.99 as the EVO Shift 4G when bought on upgrade at Radio Shack if you were looking for a good deal on that (Radio Shack also lists the Epic for the same $199.99 with upgrade as Amazon).

    Thanks again for the tip.

    Eli

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